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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

xv       THE CHURCH OF S. SAVIOUR PANTOKRATOR      235
bays covered with cross - groined vaults on transverse arches. Its southern bay3 however3 Is a later extension, running about half-way in front of the central church to give access to a door into that building. Only two bays of the original narthex have doors opening into the north church ; the third door which once existed in the northern bay has been partly built up. The narthex is very much out of repair^ and the western wall threatens to fall outwards. The dome, pierced by eight windows^ shows so many Turkish features that it may be pronounced as mostly3 if not wholly^ a Turkish construction. The four square piers which support it are manifestly Turkish. When Gyllius visited the church in the sixteenth century the dome arches rested on four columns of Theban granite^ c hemispherium sustentatur quatuor arcubus, quos fulciunt quatuor columnae marmoris ThebaicL'1 Barrel vaults cover the arms of the cross5 whichj as usual in churches of this type? appears distinctly above the roof on the exterior* The southern arm extends to the central church and its vault is pierced by two windows, insertedj probably, to compensate for the loss of light occasioned by the erection of that building. These windows furnish one indication of the earlier date of the north church. The gynaeceum, like the narthex below it, is covered with cross-groined vaults and contains a small fireplace- The prothesis and diaconicon have barrel vaults and apses with three sides projecting slightly on the exterior. The main apse has a very lofty triple window, and shows five sides. All the apses are decorated with high shallow blind niches, a simple but effective ornament.2
The Central Church.—The central church is an oblong hall covered by two domes, and terminates in a large apse. It is extremely irregular in plan, and does not lie parallel to either of the churches between which it stands. The domes are separated by a transverse arch. The western dome, though flattened somewhat on the four sides, is
1  De top, C.P. iv, c, 2,
2  *Thc breaking of wall surfaces by pilasters and blind niches is a custom
immemorial in Oriental brickwork/—-The Thousand and One Churches^ by Sir
W. Ramsay and Miss Lothian Bell, p. 448.